Schlenk Lecture Award to Professor Sjoerd Harder

From left to right: Dr. Thomas Groesser (BASF-AG), Dr. Edward Schlenk (Wilhelm Schlenk’s grandson), the prize winner Prof. Dr. Sjoerd Harder, Prof. Dr. Reiner Anwander (prize committee Universität Tübingen) and former prize winners Prof. Dr. Philip Mountford (University of Oxford) and Prof. Dr. Warren Piers (University of Calgary). (Image: University of Tübingen)

Prof. Dr. Sjoerd Harder received the “Schlenk Lecture Award”, a biannual research prize from the University of Tübingen and the BASF-AG. The prize includes a ceremonial lecture about the awardees research, a 3-week visiting professorship in Tübingen and at the BASF site in Ludwigshafen and a reward of €7.500. This international prize, in memory of Wilhelm Schlenk (1879-1943) and his pioneering research, is awarded for outstanding contributions to the larger field of organometallic chemistry. Previous prize winners are: 2011 Warren Piers (University of Calgary), 2013 Kyoko Nozaki (University of Tokyo), 2015 Philip Mountford (University of Oxford).

“I am particularly pleased with this recognition”, Sjoerd Harder says, “not only because Schlenk always has been one of my scientific heroes but also because he showed extraordinary civil courage in resisting Nazi initiatives in German academia, this at great cost of his own scientific career. Opportunism is something of all times and also today influences opinions. We all agree that Schlenk did the right thing but can only hope that in a similarly extreme situation we would make the same choice.”